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Report - Harecastle tunnel (Kidsgrove) 12-8-07

Discussion in 'Underground Sites' started by Urban Freak, Aug 14, 2007.

  1. Urban Freak

    Urban Freak Guest

    Brief History:

    Tunnel Complex is locatedKidsgrove in Staffordshire, There is a small railway tunnel (@ Bathpool Park) on the Manchester - London part of the WCML still in use.The Main tunnel was built in the early 1800`s and has been disused since 1960 on account it was too small for modern rolling stock, the tunnel heads east for several hundred yards before turning right to head south towards Stoke on Trent. The tunnel itself is 2/3 mile long.

    The Other two Harecastle tunnels are a couple of Canal tunnels on the Trent Mersey Canal the northern end starts in Kidsgrove alongside the Manchester to London railway line, the tunnels were built by James Brindley for Josiah Wedgewood. The First tunnel was abandonned to after being opened due to mining subsidance and a replacement bulit which is still in use. In the middle of the tunnels were connected to small off shoot tunnels which went into a local mine where tubs were floated down to to the canal. The Harecastle Railway Tunnel (disused) passes over the top of the canal tunnel by a few feet, they are rumoured to be connected by several v small and tight passageways.

    There is also a network of drainage tunnels which can be viewed in Bathpool Park these eventually flow into the first abandoned Harecatle Canal Tunnel.

    The tunnels apparently suffers from a 'haunting manifestation', the ghost of one murdered Kit Crewbucket, whose headless corpse was dumped in the canal. During the 19th century, boatmen were so convinced of her existence that some would choose a long detour to avoid a trip through the tunnel. The train tunnel is also supposedly haunted by several people that died during two serious crashes, mid tunnel, in the late 1800`s

    On a more sinister side Bathpool Park and the darainage tunnels are the scene of the Lesley Whittle murder committed by the Black Panther. Lesley Whittle was abducted from her home in Wolverhampton and she was tied up naked on a landing between ladders. A ransom was demanded and when her father came to pay it unfortunately he drove into the park on a foggy morning and didn't see anybody despite driving around and around. For some reason the Black Panther found out that he was about to be trapped by the Police and in a rage and most callously kicked Lesley Whittle (who was still tied up and had a noose around her neck) off the landing platform. The Black Panther is still in Prison (or at least was last time I heard).

    The Explore:

    Met up with my m8 from work after the meet for our little explore.
    First off we checked out the entrance to the Canal tunnels, the working tunnel was actually in use when we got there and we watched a barge coming out, not much to see by the old dissused tunnel.



    After that we decided to head to the main goal - the dissused Rail tunnel, access was easy enough and we set out for the other end, you could see the other end from not that far in, but it`s quite deceptive, after 10 minutes trecking through the shallow water, the other end didn`t seem to be getting any closer! Also the water was getting deeper, i was the only one with wellies so we decided not to go any further as my companions where getting very cold and damp feet!
    We Set up the tripod and had a go at our first ever attempt at light painting - funny how the torch seems much brighter in my living room than half way down a tunnel!!



    We found no sign of the rumoured links to the cannel below, but they could have just been further down the tunnel. Also made me think about getting a hard hat, several sections of roof had formed piles of bricks on the floor!
    The other end of the tunnel, still not sure where this comes out. Picture was taken on 42x Zoom!


    There was no debris at all in the middle of the tunnel but plenty around the entrance, why is it always trolleys?!?!?!



    The main tunnel entrance:

    Brics n Brother:

    The entrance from outside:

    The drain where the murder happened - well and truley sealed:

    And finally another large strange shapped drain hidden away, i believe this vents down to the underground resevoir:

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